by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3
Published on September 5, 2006 by Signet
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Romance
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.
Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…
When I read the back of Lover Awakened and realized it was Zsadist’s story, I was hesitant to read it. He wasn’t exactly the most well-loved of the Brothers in Dark Lover andLover Eternal but I couldn’t stand not knowing his story (especially since I wanted to keep reading the series and knew I’d miss a chunk of the story by not reading this book). Lover Awakened provides the backstory for Zsadist and the reason for the way he is in the first two books. His past is haunted with some pretty dark stuff. To put it nicely, this book is not for the faint of heart and will pull on the heartstrings of fans of the series.
It’s hard to describe this book. Lover Awakened touches on some tough topics from Zsadist’s past and the brutality he went through before his brother, Phury, rescued him. The twins have gone through a lot, more than your average siblings. Zsadist never really healed from what happened to him and while Phury helped him become more “civilized,” for lack of better terms, it was Bella, Mary’s friend from Lover Eternal, that begins to put the pieces of him back together. Zsadist slowly opens up to Bella and their love isn’t all lust and physical like we saw in the first two books. This Brother has a ways to go before that and Bella is right there with him. And Bella is one hell of a heroine. I don’t know how Ward does it but each leading lady sells the story with her Brother. This book was just as good as the first two in its own way.
As we saw with book 1 and 2, Ward keeps the story rolling with Lover Awakened, bringing out the lessers once again. I wasn’t a huge fan of the whole lesser idea from the start and in this book they especially annoyed me. Come on, Ward, I don’t care about them. I want the Brotherhood, thank you very much. But I digress. The third installment of the series is packed with action, romance, and a few plot twists that had me mentally crying and screaming at the book. For those of you who’ve read Lover Awakened, I’m sure you’ll agree that where we once pitied Zsadist, it’s now poor Tohr’s turn. Ward, you are a cruel author indeed. Not sure how that’s going to play out (and sorry for the lack of information, trying to avoid spoilers) but I hope Tohr finds happiness and soon.
Overall, another great Black Dagger Brotherhood book. I loved Zsadist’s backstory and it really brought life to his character. As for the next installment, let’s hope Butch knows how to stand on his own as the new main man. Now for a few words to the characters: Zsadist, you are an amazing person and I’m glad you finally found happiness. Phury, you’re a bastard but still a good brother. Tohr, I love you dearly and my heart goes out to you. As for the rest of the Brothers, I can’t wait to read your stories.